to those of you who completely flipped out when they saw that i'd done something with this story- sorry. i've hit a block lately and, just for the fun of it, asked one of my many friends to read this over for me. being my friend, she said that it was full of grammar mistakes and that it wasn't exactly written out very well.
when i pointed out the wonderful reviews and things you guys left for me, she simply left the room.
so now i have taken it upon myself to make McGee's Big Secret better, faster, stronger, and all around better (yes i said it twice) so i can rub her face in it that i can write better than she thinks. (i don't actually hold her criticism against her-we've known each other for like 6 years and are both fine with dissing each other as much as possible. we're polar opposites, but still love each other at the end of the day.)
again, for you new readers, had to remake the ending to Hocus Pocus to fit the plot line. i have already slapped my own wrist for that, since it was such a good movie.
disclaimer: No ownage on my part.
"Where's Binx?" Dani asked as she looked around the gravestones. There was a time in her life when she wouldn't go near a cemetery for fear of zombies rising from the dead and chasing her—while her nightmare had come true, it had also proven to her that not all zombies were bad. Billy Bones had already been laid down to rest, along with her once-irrational-and-now-completely-rational-fear.
"Binx! Binx, where are you?" The three kids spread out across the graveyard, looking around ever headstone and grave marker in the area. There was no sign of the black cat, until…
"Guys… over here."
The midnight feline was lying on a soft patch of moss, his head on top of a smooth grey rock that was placed just below an ancient headstone. None of them noticed the name carved into the stone, "Emily Binx", they were too preoccupied over their quiet, deathly still friend.
"Binx!" Dani cried, falling to her knees next to the cat. "Oh, no, Binx, Please don't die, you can't die!" She put her arms on the little body, trying to shake life into it as her tears hit the black fur. "Please come back, Binx, you can't die, remember? You can't!"
No matter how hard or how long she shook, however, the animal didn't move. It was a few minutes before the girl finally turned into her brother's shoulder, thoroughly soaking it with salty tears. Max had two girls crying on his shoulders, and while normally would've been bragging about it for weeks, couldn't keep his gaze from Binx. He gently rubbed both Dani's and Allison's backs, knowing that he would help more by simply being there than by talking.
It was about 6 when they finally left the graveyard, leaving the small body by his sister's grave, after saying one final farewell to him and pushing some dirt and wood over Billy's own grave.
The benches outside the Salem Graveyard had held many people—hopeless and empty people who were once lovers and now grievers, waiting for their turn to be buried, next to their loved one; people wishing for the quiet serenity of the cemetery; or people waiting for a bus. Now one held 3 grieving kids, ignored by those passing by in cars and on sidewalks. Max was again quiet as Allison, who had managed to pull herself together, tried to comfort his little sister, who hadn't left her brother's side.
"Dani…" She cleared her throat, willing her voice not to crack. "Binx… he was old. He wanted to go. He's in a better place, he's with Emily now." That, at the least, barely slowed the tears. "And he went the way he would've wanted to go… like a hero."
"He died a man," Max added, remembering their conversation earlier that night… had it really only been a few hours ago? "Dani, he died for us, for all the kids in the world."
"Actually," a very familiar voice, barely hinted with a trace of an early world accent, said from beside them, "I didn't, really."
All three of them turned their heads. A boy a little older than Max, dressed in a loose cotton shirt and brown leggings, was leaning up against the cast-iron fence, flashing brilliant white teeth at them. His bright green eyes were dancing in laughter, partially hidden by overgrown brown hair. "Binx?" Dani squeaked in shock. "Is that… you?"
"In the flesh," the boy replied, grinning wider. "Again."
"Binx!" she shrieked, letting go of her brother and full on tackling Binx. The 16-year old laughed at the force of the hug, pulling her closer. "You're ok! You're really alive! I knew you couldn't die, it's impossible, I mean, you're almost 316 years old, you can last a little while longer, right?"
He laughed. "For you Dani, I think I can. But it's not impossible anymore." He met Max and Allison's eyes and smiled. "The witches are finally, truly dead."
"So you're not going to somehow transform into a cat again?" blonde asked, half-joking.
"Of course not," Binx shook his head. "Their spells died with them. All of their spells."
"All?" Max repeated frowning.
"Well, first off, I'm no longer an immortal black cat," Binx laughed," second, your parents aren't dancing anymore, and third…"
"Thackery?" a little girl's sharp voice called from the graveyard. "Thackery Binx, where art thou?" Dani pulled away, surprised, as Binx burst into the brightest grin yet. A small 6-year-old passed through the gates, glaring at all four of them with eyes that looked exactly like Binx's. The girl was clothed in a long white dress, like Binx's shirt made longer.
"There you are, I was beginning to wonder if you had left without me," Emily Binx said haughtily, striding over to her brother's side, her glare not leaving any of their faces.
Suddenly, she punched her older brother's side so hard he winced and covered the area with his hand. "That was for worrying me, you good for nothing little butthead!"
"Little?" Binx repeated, smirking. "Look at the pot call the kettle black, munchkin!" She punched him once more, before wrapping her arms around his waist. "And what would Mother and Father say if they heard thee use that sort of language?"
"They would agree with me and use far worse words," she shot back, earning a hair ruffle from him. "I missed thee, Thack."
"And I you, Emily," he replied. "Max, Allison, Dani, this is my younger sister, Emily. Em, these are the people who brought the Sandersons—and thou—back."
She met Max's eyes and humphed. "I am not sure whether to hug thee or hit thee."
The three kids stared at the pair, silent. Neither Allison nor Max knew how to react to this, but luckily, Dani covered all bases with her "Whoa! You're really Binx's sister? That's awesome!"
Sarah grinned at the older girl's squeal. "I am glad thy think so," Emily answered. "Sometimes I am not so sure if I do."
Binx frowned as Allison and Max tried to hide smiles. "Yeah, I know how you feel," Dani nodded sympathetically. "Sometimes I wonder if older brothers are just idiots meant to annoy the crap out of their little sisters."
"Hey!" both Binx and Max protested, earning a giggle from Allison and Dani. Emily looked at the two, her eyebrows knitting.
"Hay?" she repeated, confused. "We aren't in a barn, there is no hay here."
Binx groaned, shaking his head. "No, Emily, hey, as in h-e-y. It's a word a person says when they want to catch someone's attention, or greet them, or stop them from doing or saying something."
The little girl humphed, crossing her arms over her chest. "I hate what people have done to the English language."
"Well, you're gonna have to get used to it," Dani told the younger girl, throwing her arm around her shoulders. "Don't worry, me and Mom'll teach ya all about how to say stuff in the nineties."
"I do know how to say things in the Nineties," Emily replied smoothly. "Just not these Nineties. If it were 1693, then 'twould be thee taking grammar lessons, not I."
Both Max and Binx glanced at each other as Dani replied, "Yeah, but it's not 1693, it's 1993. Trust me, you're gonna like it here, Em, I've got all this really cool stuff in my room. My parents bought me a computer!"
"A computer?" Emily asked, her eyes wide. "Is it very smart?" Dani nodded. "I'd love to see…"
"Er, guys," Max interrupted. "Slight problem here." Dani looked up at him, confused. "Dan, I don't think we'll be able to take Binx and Emily… home."
"What? Why not?" Dani looked torn. "Mom and Dad'll understand, we've just gotta tell 'em…"
"But I want to go!" Emily said at the same time. "Please, Thack?"
"Dani, Emily, think about this," Binx insisted. "If you hadn't gone through this, would you believe it?" Dani shrugged, but Emily nodded eagerly. "Emily, adults today are different from when we were born. They won't automatically believe in magic just because a few kids say that there were witches. They've learned from the Salem Witch Hunt."
"They don't believe in magic?" Emily repeated, surprised. "But… how would they explain all the bad things happening to people? Disease?"
"Tiny little bacteria that make people sick," Allison explained gently.
"A person born with hemophilia?"
Allison opened her mouth, then closed it. "There's no scientific reason for that," she admitted, "that's just by chance. Look, Emily, that doesn't matter. We can't tell anyone about what happened."
"Why not?" she asked again.
"They'll never believe us, for one," Max offered. "And second, they'll probably call us crazy and send us to an asylum."
"And there's a difference between adopting a stray cat," Max added quickly, "and adopting two kids. No offense, dude."
"None taken," Binx nodded, smiling. It quickly faded, however. "But then, where are we to go?"
"You'll probably get taken in by the orphanage," Dani admitted glumly. "Why can't we just let them stay with us, Max, Mom and Dad don't have to know!"
"Dani, they'll notice and then ream us for lying!" The 8-year-old crossed her arms and pouted. "Don't give me that face, Danielle Dennison."
Allison gave a small smile, then finally spoke up. "I think I have an idea."
"Allison, are you sure about this?" her mother asked, looking at the couple sitting on the other side of the one-way glass. "I mean, what if they don't like each other?"
The older woman had quickly grown attached to the strange children that had shown up with her daughter the day after Halloween. Binx and Emily were both charming kids, though it was hard to believe they were related, with such different personalities. Binx was a shy, happy-go-lucky boy who devoured books like they were chocolate bars. Emily was a fiery little ball of pure spunk, yet polite at the same time.
"They'll match, Mom. Don't worry." Allison looked over at her new boyfriend and nodded to him.
Max smiled back, then motioned for Thackery and Emily to enter the other room. The siblings did as they were told, Emily striding forward bravely with Thackery beside her.
The couple sitting in the interview room were Mr. and Mrs. McGee, in Salem on vacation and to visit their cousins—Allison's parents. The man was a commander in the Navy, straight-backed and proud, but with soft green eyes. His wife was small, fitting his large frame, but had a fire in her eyes that even Emily couldn't match. They'd recently discovered that she wasn't able to have children and had jumped at the chance to adopt not one, but two kids.
When Emily came into the room, both of them came to their feet, looking over them. For a few minutes the two pairs simply stared at each other. The tension in the other room could've been cut with a knife. Allison and her mother were quietly praying. Max was holding Dani's hand—she was crossing the fingers on her other.
Finally, Mrs. McGee came forward and knelt in front of the 6-year-old. "Hello," she said, giving a smile that she hoped was warm. "I'm Julia."
Emily looked at her and said the first thing that came to mind. "I'm Sarah."
Thackery looked down at his sister, more in surprise than shock. She'd always said that she'd hated her first name and preferred her middle, but introducing herself by it? To a pair of strangers?
Max and Allison shared a look. What in the name of God?
"Nice to meet you, Sarah," Mrs. McGee said, reaching out to take the girl's hand. More out of instinct than anything else, Thackery put an arm around her shoulders.
Julia reeled back, but "Sarah" rolled her eyes, shrugging his arms off. "Calm down, Tim," she said, slapping his leg. "For God's sake, it's not like they're gonna shoot us."
She'd taken to modern slang better than she'd taken to ice cream.
"So your name is Tim?" Commander McGee asked, raising a silver eyebrow. Binx looked up to the man's warm green eyes and held the gaze.
"Yessir," he replied, a little too stiffly. "Timothy."
The Commander nodded curtly, then smiled. Tim did a double take. The creased, lined, stone-like face had completely changed with his smile. A tiny sliver of white teeth showed beneath his green… proud? eyes.
"You love your little sister, Tim?"
"Yessir," he replied.
"You want to protect her, right?" Tim nodded. "Well then." He held out a hand. "Navy Commander Wilson McGee, at your service."
Tim looked up at the man and managed a small smile. "Likewise, sir."
"Don't call me sir, son." Tim blinked at the use of the word, then started to smile. "I may be an officer, but I don't sit around all day watching ships float by."
"O-ok. Then, what should I call you?"
Sarah rolled her eyes and slapped his leg again. Tim winced, glaring at the little girl.
"Call him Dad, you dimwit!"
since i already have the chapters up, and since it may take more than a day to rewrite these things, i can no longer promise one a day. however, i will try as much as i can to get it as soon as i can... barring horrible injury, death, and/or school tests.